Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.
This will come as no surprise to any of you who have tried Workman's first book, The Mom 100 Cookbook (check out my interview/review). And good news: Dinner Solved! includes all the great features of the earlier cookbook plus another hundred easy, delicious, and healthful recipes.
I cannot review any Workman Publishing cookbook without raving about the design. Their book design team is tops. The beautiful photography, easy-to-read fonts, appealing colors, and cute icons make Dinner Solved! a joy look through. (Note: All the photos in this post were scanned from the cookbook; all rights remain with Workman Publishing.)
Of course, pretty gets you nowhere when it comes time to get a meal on the table. Fortunately Workman has you covered, making it easy to feed your whole family. She takes into consideration such factors as different tastes, vegetarian diets, and just plain individual quirks.
The key is her trademark Fork in the Road advice. What is this little piece of brilliance? It's the point at which you can divide your main dish into portions to satisfy both the adventurous eaters and the cautious eaters (or meat-eaters and vegetarians), without having to make two completely different meals and without having to sacrifice your own tastes to please the other diners at your table.
Here's an example: Let's say you're craving shrimp and Mexican, so you decide to make the Shrimp Tacos recipe. You love shrimp but rarely make it because no one else in your house will eat it. No problem. Simply make the tomato-based taco filling, separating out a serving for yourself at the end. Then add chicken to the larger portion and shrimp to the smaller. You all get to eat tacos, everyone is happy, and there was very little extra work for the cook.
Dinner Solved! is full of great advice: cooking tips, ideas for getting the kids involved, make ahead alerts, and more. Even the most timid cook will find the recipes accessible and doable. The ingredients are readily available and mostly fresh, although Workman doesn't hesitate to use a little convenience when it makes sense, as in canned tomato products.
Do not be fooled by the family-oriented slant to the recipes and text. This is a cookbook for everyone, no matter what group is sitting around your dinner table. Just because the meals will appeal to youngsters doesn't mean the dinners are childish. These dishes are flavorful and fresh, with wide appeal.
So what have I made? I made the Lemon-Horseradish Potato Salad (the Fork in the Road is for a more classic dressing), the Spanish Pork Chops (the Fork in the Road is a less spicy version), and the Maple-Barbecue Pork Meatballs (I made the Fork in the Road spicy variation). What else do I have my eye on? Everything! Okay, here are some recipes I have marked to try:
- Mexican Tortilla Soup
- Savory Zucchini Puff Pastry Tarts
- Vegetable Lo Mein
- Chicken Vegetable Potpie Casserole
- Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup
Maple-Barbecue Pork Meatballs
Serves 6 (makes 42 small meatballs)
- Canola or vegetable oil, for oiling the pan
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup barbecue sauce, plus more for dipping if you like
- ½ cup grated peeled apple
- ⅓ cup minced onion
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Kosher or coarse salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or see Fork in the Road for a spicy swap-in
- 1½ pounds ground pork
Combine the bread crumbs, barbecue sauce, apple, onion, egg, and salt in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir to blend. Add the pork and combine well using your hands, but try not to squeeze the mixture too much. Form into 1-inch-round meatballs and place them on the baking sheet.
Bake the meatballs until cooked through, 16 to 20 minutes. Serve hot, with extra barbecue sauce on the side.
BFR's notes: I didn't oil the sheet pan; I used a piece of parchment instead. I made the spicy version, and we loved these meatballs! Workman suggests serving them on rice or couscous, but we used them to make meatball sandwiches. Delicious!Fork in the Road: Spicy Pork Meatballs
Instead of the maple syrup add 2 teaspoons chili powder and pinch of cayenne pepper to the apple mixture. Add the pork, combine, and bake as directed.
To go half sweet and half spicy, divide the panko mixture at the beginning of [the second step] into 2 bowls. Add 1½ teaspoons maple syrup and half the pork to one bowl, and 1 teaspoon chili powder, a small pinch of cayenne, and the other half of the pork to the other bowl. Blend, form, and bake as directed (be sure to separate the spicy and nonspicy meatballs on the baking sheet).
Published by Workman, August 2015
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)